In her feminist intervention into the ways in which British women novelists explore and challenge the limitations of the mind-body binary historically linked to constructions of femininity, Andrea Adolph examines female characters in novels by Barbara Pym, Angela Carter, Helen Dunmore, Helen Fielding, and Rachel Cusk. Adolph focuses on how women's relationships to food (cooking, eating, serving) are used to locate women's embodiment within the everyday and also reveal the writers' commitment to portraying a unified female subject. For example, using food and food consumption as a lens highlights how women writers have used food as a trope that illustrates the interconnectedness of sex and gender with issues of sexuality, social class, and subjectivity-all aspects that fall along a continuum of experience in which the intellect and the physical body are mutually complicit. Historically grounded in representations of women in periodicals, housekeeping and cooking manuals, and health and beauty books, Adolph's theoretically informed study complicates our understanding of how women's social and cultural roles are intricately connected to issues of food and food consumption.
Andrea Adolph is associate professor of English and coordinator of service-learning at Kent State University-Stark Campus, USA.
'... a solid and engaging approach towards locating a more holistic union of mind and body in British women's fiction.' Woolf Studies Annual ’In her analysis of these three contemporary female figures, Adolph cements her overall assertion and nicely dovetails not only the diverse theories that she draws upon but also the diverse set of primary texts that she selected.’ Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature